Taos Ski Valley opens on Thanksgiving Day.
And not a moment too soon, after the winter storm that blew in on Sunday, leaving over a foot of the white stuff in its wake!
With all the recent and ongoing improvements and renovations in the Village, along with direct flights from Austin and Dallas to Taos Airport, this Season promises to be one of the best in recent memory.
What’s old is new again, and the quaint and charming Ski Resort built by Ernie Blake in the likeness of the Austrian and Bavarian resorts he skied as a youngster growing up in Europe, has been updated rather tastefully, without stripping away its authenticity.
Ernie lives on in the tales that still get told each winter, beside myriad hearths on the mountain, and although the resort’s new owner, Conservationist Louis Bacon has already begun to leave his stamp on the alpine Village, it’s Ernie Blake who will forever remain a legendary, and larger than life figure in these parts. A true maverick who did things, his way.
Just about a mile downhill from Taos Ski Valley in the Village of Amizette, once a bustling mining town, you will find the Austing Haus, built in 1982 by yet another TSV maverick, Paul Austing,
Local legend has it that Paul Austing arrived in Taos Ski Valley in 1974 with just $150 in his pocket and a love of timber-framed construction which he learned about from studying old barns in the Midwest, where he grew up, and in Europe where he went to study the Culinary Arts. During his early years, some claim he started up a business showing off a sturdy timber frame pavilion. To date, there have been thousands of timber frame pavilion structures popping up all across the United States and abroad.
A graduate of The Escoffier Culinary School, Paul Austing was credited with more than 10,000 recipes that even today are still used in many restaurants throughout the world.
It is told that Paul personally selected every log that was used in constructing the Austing Haus, a 22,000 sq ft timber frame lodge where he put his culinary skills to practice. At the time it was built, the lodge was the largest and tallest timber frame hotel in the United States.
This year, in keeping with its surroundings, the Austing Haus has undergone a facelift of its own and is re-opening after renovations on Thanksgiving Day, and you’d be hard pressed to find a more romantic spot to spend the holiday weekend.
The lodge is difficult to miss as you drive by, especially as the sun goes down when the two-storied structure glows with its wall of windows, and with the gooseneck barn lights outdoor pieces glowing beautifully in the night sky, you simply can’t miss it. It really lifts the overall look of the lodge’s exterior. With the folksy, Austrian stencilling decorating the exterior, it sets the tone for Ernie Blake’s Bavarian Village just up the road in Taos Ski Valley.
The Austing Haus’ new owners approached the extensive renovations with reverence, careful to maintain the integrity of the original structure while revitalizing this magnificent lodge, from the barn door options to the inside renovations.
The 24 guest rooms have been totally remodeled but are still full of character in keeping with the original vibe.
The bright and modern new bathrooms have been fitted with mahogany and granite vanities, white porcelain baths, and glass enclosed showers made from poured marble, with brushed nickel fixtures and accessories that effectively catch the light.
Faux and safe (gas) fireplaces are included in most rooms and the King Suites have romantic 4 poster beds. The lofted rooms have a variety of bedding configurations which make it ideal (and affordable) for families to stay. All of the hotel’s beds are brand new and the bed linens are premium quality.
Traditional Austrian Ski Chalets are known for their Great Rooms and meeting spaces where people can meet and gather, and the Austing Haus has one of the most beautiful meeting spaces on the mountain.
The dining room will be a hive of activity all winter in the evenings in the Culinary tradition of Paul Austing, with delicious dinners planned for Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Eve and Holiday weekends, Several special events are in the works as well, including Cooking Classes with Cooking Studio Taos and themed dinners from local Taos chefs.
Seating up to 65 people the dining room’s walls of windows open onto a picture perfect scenic view (today the towering pines are covered in fluffy white power), this is where the hotel’s scrumptious Thanksgiving Dinner will be served and also this winter, guests at the Austing Haus will enjoy a full cooked breakfast every morning in this truly spectacular space. What a great way to start a wintery day!
After a day spent on the mountain, you’ll arrive back at the lodge to be welcomed in the lobby by the comforting aromas of Hot Cider, Coffee, Tea and freshly baked Pizzelle’s.
And for the kids, there’s a secret cupboard full of books, board games, coloring books and crayons, and even in- house babysitters if the adults want a night alone up in the Village or out on the town! The Town of Taos of course!
For much more information and to book your Thanksgiving Getaway /Thanksgiving dinner at the Austing Haus, by reservation only), please visit the site linked below this post.
All images thanks to the Austing Haus